EXCLUSIVE: Soda Pictures partners with UK producer David P. Kelly on production of Two Women; takes UK rights.

Eve Gabereau and Edward Fletcher of UK distributor Soda Pictures and UK producer David P. Kelly have joined the production of Ralph Fiennes drama Two Women

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As previously reported, the Russian and French-language drama, based on Ivan Turgenev’s play A Month in the Country, is due to shoot in Smolensk, Russia, this summer.

A Russian-French-UK co-production, Two Women is to be directed by Vera Glagoleva (One War), with Natalia Ivanova of Russian outfit Horosho Productions as lead producer and a UK partnership between producer David P. Kelly (The Last Station, Desert Flower) and Soda Pictures co-directors Eve Gabereau and Edward Fletcher, who have backed the film creatively and financially. Support also comes from the Russian Cinema Fund.

The 19th century story, about a tangle of love affairs at a country home, marks the first production collaboration between Kelly and independent distributor Soda - whose credits include Barbara, Norwegian Wood and Bullhead - under its new production banner Soda Films. Screen understands the partnership has a number of films in development.

The film’s cast will be predominantly Russian but Screen understands the production will cast a French actress in one of the female leads.

Agent Simon Beresford said on behalf of Fiennes: ‘‘Ralph Fiennes is delighted to be involved in this exciting project, playing the wonderful role of Rakitin and as a sign of his deep commitment is studying Russian for the role. He has always been a great admirer of Russian culture and looks forward to working there this summer.”

Fiennes previously starred in Russian adaptation Onegin.

Kelly was introduced to the project at the UK-Russian co-production roundtable held in London in November 2012.

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